My coworker Kathy just gave me the recipe for one of my favorite cookies. It's for Fairy Drops: wafer thin sugar cookies that just crisply melt in your mouth.
Kathy brings these in every once in a while. They are about 4" around, but because they are so thin, I usually eat about 5 or 6 every time I pass the kitchen. In fact, I can't help myself!
It reminds me of when I was in second grade. I used to sneak in and eat several little marinated mushrooms from the tiny Cara Mia jar in the refrigerator. I knew they were expensive, so I would creep in like a thief (ok, so I was a thief). The point is, however, that it was a compulsion. It was one of the very few things in my life that I felt powerless to control. I guess that you would call it an "addiction." Ha. Mushroom Addiction. (I guess I needed Mushroom-aholics Anonymous. Ok, I'm done torturing you with bad jokes...back to the topic at hand.)
This morning, I was lucky enough to find a recipe card on my office chair for those heavenly Fairy Drops. When I went to thank my friend, she was explaining how she injured herself getting that recipe for me. Opening her bag, she pulled out a worn, yellowing paperback cookbook and showed me how one of the staples inside was pointing up, thus giving her the cut on her finger. (She sacrificed so that I could have light-as-a-cloud sweetness!)
The cookbook was a family cookbook that two of her aunts had put together. Photocopied, along with some pictures, are "90 Great family recipes." What a treasure. Some of the recipes show their age, such as the one I noticed that calls for "two cubes oleo." Adorned with a photo of one of the ladies cooking at the stove, big smile on her face, the cookbook is called Down-home California Cookin'.
And what is the first thing that pops into my mind? I need to make a cookbook with family recipes! I want that! So, it is only November 29...hypothetically enough time to put together a little gem and share it with the rest of my family. I don't know if they'll appreciate them or not, but I will. It will be a snapshot in time, showing what we were all cooking in 2005.
In 2010 and 2020, I want to look back and laugh at how much bacon we ate and how we all got sucked into the latest food fads. I want to reminisce about my young son's favorite foods. And I want a little treasury of best recipes that my son, sister, and hey, maybe my grandchildren will be using to recreate those dishes they grew up loving.
Food, to me, is about several things. It is about taste. It is about fun experimentation. It is about broadening your horizons. And it is about tradition.
I think my new tradition will be the family cookbook.
Be sure to join us for this Friday's Holiday Cookie Exchange!